Physics Undergraduate Programs - College of Engineering & Natural Sciences

The Department of Physics & Engineering Physics offers the traditional BS and BA undergraduate physics majors as well as a combined Bachelor/Master of Science in Physics. These programs are structured such that students who complete the undergraduate program in physics will: 1) Be equipped to successfully enter and complete programs of graduate study in physics, 2) Function as productive, qualified scientific professionals, and 3) Demonstrate awareness of their responsibility to contribute to society as ethical, socially conscious practitioners of their profession.

Bachelor of Arts degree program prescribes a thorough introduction to the core fundamentals of physics while retaining the flexibility to engage in a broad offering of arts and sciences courses. This degree plan is especially suitable for students who plan to apply their physics knowledge and abilities towards careers in education or health care.

Bachelor of Science degree offers students a strong foundation in physics and mathematics in preparation for technical or scientific careers. More rigorous courses than the B.A. degree, the curriculum has been designed to allow students in their junior and senior years to focus on specific fields of physics. Participation in a minimum of two semesters of research, culminating in a senior thesis, is required. Additional research involvement is strongly encouraged (but not required). Graduates are qualified to work as physicists and may also pursue graduate degrees in physics or related science and engineering fields. Other options include professional degrees in medicine or engineering as well as technical careers in the science and engineering fields.

  • Program Objectives

    BACHELOR OF SCIENCE

    Students who complete one of the undergraduate programs will have:

    1. The knowledge to successfully enter and complete programs of graduate study in one of several engineering fields as well as in physics.
    2. The skills to be able to function as productive, qualified engineering professionals in areas where traditional science and engineering disciplines overlap.
    3. An awareness of the importance of continued professional development.
  • Degree Options

    Physics, B.A.

    Especially suitable for students who plan to apply their physics knowledge and abilities towards careers in education or health care.

    Physics, B.S.

    Provides a strong foundation in physics and mathematics in preparation for technical or scientific careers.

    Physics Minor

    Students majoring in other fields interested in learning more about the physics discipline are encouraged to earn a minor in physics.

  • Typical Four-Year Schedule
    FRESHMAN – FALL SEMESTERFRESHMAN – SPRING SEMESTER
    The World of PhysicsGeneral Physics II + Lab
    General Physics I + LabCalculus II
    General Chemistry I and LabComputer Science (scientific programming)
    Calculus IBlock I (aesthetic inquiry & creative expression)
    Exposition and ArgumentationGeneral Elective
    SOPHOMORE – FALL SEMESTERSOPHOMORE – SPRING SEMESTER
    General Physics III + LabMethods of Mathematical Physics
    Calculus IIIStatistical & Thermal Physics
    Electric Circuit Analysis + LabDifferential Equations
    Block I (aesthetic inquiry & creative expression)Block II (historical & social interpretation)
    General ElectiveGeneral Elective
    JUNIOR – FALL SEMESTERJUNIOR – SPRING SEMESTER
    Physics Instrumentation LabSenior Physics Lab
    Physics Elective *Math Elective
    Writing for the ProfessionsClassical Mechanics
    Block II (historical & social interpretation)General Elective
    General ElectiveBlock II (historical & social interpretation)
    General ElectiveGeneral Elective
    SENIOR – FALL SEMESTERSENIOR – SPRING SEMESTER
    Senior ThesisSenior Thesis
    Quantum Mechanics IQuantum Mechanics II
    Electricity & MagnetismPhysics Elective*
    General ElectiveBlock II (historical & social interpretation)
    General ElectiveGeneral Elective
    General Elective
    *Selected from electromagnetic waves & optics, solid state physics, photenics or astrophysics

  • Professional Opportunities
    • Physicists
    • Physics teacher (primary or secondary)
    • Research engineer